Osheaga was one of the best times of my life. Let me tell you why.
Let me first start off by saying that Montreal is by far one of my favourite cities. From its super #hipster vibes to the quaint scenery of Old Port, I can 100% declare that I feel this city in my soul. That being said, I went into Osheaga knowing very little about Parc Jean-Drapeau, the festival’s vibes or the kinds of people that attend. When my homeboy Lauren won Osheaga passes for the entire weekend (I know! What?!), I made it a point to look up only the necessary “to knows” about the festival so I could go in with an unclouded perception.
I have to say, it was one of the best times of my life. Let me tell you why.
I thought I’d break down Osheaga into five categories; Music, Food, Transportation & some tips and tricks for next year’s Osheaga trip.
First on our “Artists to see live” list was Bazzi. He’s the guy who sings “You so, fucking, precious, when you smile *groovy beat hits*”. You know the song. If you ever have the chance to see Bazzi live, DO IT. Not only is he beautiful, but the boy can sing. Not to put Lauren in the spotlight or anything, but her and the girl in front of us went so HARD. If Bazzi cut the mic, you’d only hear those too, which is pretty impressive.
Next was Rae Sremurd. Ah… Rae Sremmurd. Let me just say, they are a character and a half. Their fans are like very hyper (and very high) rabbits. They hop around slurring the words and jumping on each other, often forgetting to open their eyes and actually watch the performance. Their most dedicated fans must have waited upwards of 2 hours in the crowd to see them, because it was packed. I can’t lie, they’re super talented. There’s something about them that’s just so cool you can’t help but watch and think “I wonder what the hell a day in the life of Rae Sremmurd is like”.
We left Rae Sremmurd after a few songs and wandered around a bit. We decided to check out Odesza, even though I’d never heard anything from them before. We showed up just in time for the greatest and weirdest rendition of “Locomotive” I’ve ever heard. It was super trippy and flat out amazing. Their performance ended up being one of the highlights of my entire trip. Also, there was this man on the trumpet… SIR, I DON’T KNOW WHO YOU ARE OR IF YOU’RE PART OF ODESZA BUT YOU’RE SO DOPE. Anyways, I couldn’t recommend them enough.
Travis Scott’s performance was scheduled after Odesza. It was highly anticipated, not just because it’s Travis Scott (father to our very dear Stormi), but because his new album Astroworld had just dropped the night before. To say that people were excited is an understatement. Everywhere we walked that day, we’d hear people talking about the album and how much they couldn’t wait to be the first to hear it live. Unfortunately, his performance got pushed back due to border delays and after waiting a half hour, Lauren and I decided to leave. He’s not a favourite of ours, so we weren’t entirely crushed. But we heard he killed it. Good on ‘ya Mr. Scott.
Okay so, Lany. Never heard of him. Never seen his face. Lauren loves him. Naturally, I’m like “Hell ya. New music, let’s get it”. Let me tell you, I was grooovviiinnggggg. It was such a chill concert and everyone was just vibing (and sweating). Good times, for sure.
What I’m about to say next utterly crushes my soul, but it’s true. Khalid just wasn’t good and the crowd was even worse. He barely sang the lyrics to the songs and mostly just harmonized. No one even sang to “Location”?!!??? Pardon??!! I don’t really have much else to say but that it was disappointing. I still love and support him though, just not sure if I’d see him again.
The first half of Arctic Monkey is blurry for me. Not because I was drinking (unfortunately), but because I just didn’t know a lot of their songs. The second half and the encore however… HOLY AGGRESSIVE DANCING. Lauren can vouch for the both of us when I say that we took up a large amount of space flailing our arms, yelling and jumping to “Snap Out Of It”. I can’t remember a time when I’ve danced so freely, not giving a single fuck about what anyone else thought. If you get the chance and if your friends agree, you should try standing at the back of a concert sometime. It’s less crowded and you can just be.
I’m just going to throw it back to first year of university for a second. One day, I’m in the library finishing off an essay. I turn on a Spotify playlist and hear “Ocean’s Away” by A R I Z O N A for the first time. I’m still not sure what it is about the song, but I felt it in my veins. I instantly thought to myself “Yup, I fuck with this” and proceeded to listen to all of their songs on repeat for the next year and a half. Anyways, I finally got to see them live at Osheaga about three rows from the stage. IT WAS INCREDIBLE.
Oh, I forgot to mention that every stage had these massive water hoses that sprayed the crowd throughout the show, which I credit for saving us all from heat stroke. During “Freaking Out”, the water came on and I was the happiest gal I’ve ever been in a while. Seriously, thank you A R I Z O N A. You made my friends and I very happy.
The thing about music festivals is that even though you may love the whole lineup, the chances of you seeing ALL of your favourite artists is quite slim, especially if you’re into various genres of music.
Dermot Kennedy and Lauv were both playing at the same time, on different stages, on two different sides of the event grounds. It was around three in the afternoon and I was still on such a high from A R I Z O N A that I didn’t feel like listening to super chill music. So I chose Lauv (I’m so so sorry Dermot, love you always). I didn’t know much about Lauv or any other songs besides “I Like Me Better” but his set and the overall vibe were pretty similar to Lany, only a lot more crowded.
Next was Dua Lipa on the main stage. To be honest, I wasn’t all that excited for her performance mostly because all of her songs are overplayed on the radio. I say this because I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved her set. In fact, she’s one of the highlights of my entire weekend. There’s just something about her that’s so captivating. She can dance, sing, interact with the crowd like a fucking boss and it was just honestly a really good time. Basically, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be Dua Lipa.
Following Dua Lipa on the same stage was Post Malone. Words can’t describe the amount of excitement that was coursing through my body while we waited for him in the scorching heat, pressed up against sweaty bodies. It was so hot that security was chucking water bottles into the crowd (which was fucking terrifying, might I add. V happy didn’t get a water bottle launched into my forehead).
Regardless, I was finally going to see one of my favourite human beings live, in person, in front of me… finally. After what felt like the longest introduction ever, Posty finally came on stage and I WENT NUTS. At one point in the concert, these two girls in front of me looked back, almost in shock that I, a very white female, knew all of the words to all of his songs. You do crazy things for love, my dudes.
Needless to say, I would officially like to announce that the winner of Osheaga performances goes to Post Malone for absolutely crushing it (and the guitar at the end. RIP Guitar).
Last but certainly not least, was my new found love Florence & The Machine. The easiest way to describe her is to compare her to a fairy. She’s so light on her feet, but simultaneously has such a powerful voice. She danced and sang without skipping a beat or missing a note. She embodies everything it means to be an artist. Just saying.
OSHEAGA! LET’S! YOU! PACK! FOOD! WHAT! TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS RARE OCCURRENCE.
Lauren and I were lucky enough that her (very kind) grandmother packed us bagels, pizza and fruit to eat on Saturday. That easily saved us a solid $40. I used to be the kind of person to think that packing snacks and food is lame and boring, but now that I’m in charge of my own finances, I realize how insane it is to drop a whole stack of cash at an event on food.
Of course, food is always a part of the experience, but only in moderation. Unless you have unlimited funds, I’m sure you’d love to indulge in some money saving tactics.
In terms of what I did eat, I discovered that hotdogs — compared to my $11 poutine — were only $6. Frugal Channy kicked in and bought four hot dogs throughout the course of the weekend. Was my stomach proud of me? Absolutely not. Was my wallet proud of me? Also no, because it would prefer to remain closed but here we are.
I do have a secret tip to $ave some money on food, though. You’ll just have to keep scrolling to find out *cheeky grin*.
In order to get to Montreal, I took a slightly different route than the majority of people. I hopped on a $45 Greyhound bus from Toronto to Ottawa (where Lauren lives) and then her brother drove us up to Montreal (where Lauren’s grandmother lives), and we took the Metro in and out of the festival every day.
I’m just going to write this part in all caps because I think it’s important to scream the things you love:
MONTREAL KNOWS WHAT’S GOOD WHEN IT COMES TO UNDERGROUND TRANSPORTATION, OH MY GOD. THE CARS ARE CLEAN, TRANSPORTATION IS SUPER AFFORDABLE AND THE SIGNAGE IS ON POINT.
The festival also worked in partnership with the Metro to provide a discounted fare for festival-goers. This meant that we could ride the metro as many times as we wanted for three days for only… wait for it… SEVENTEEN DOLLARS. $17. WHAT. There was also just such good vibes in the Metro stations. For example, we sang “Come Together” with a bunch of strangers (video below).
On the way back to Toronto, I took a Megabus, which is usually the best way to get in and out of Montreal. I once travelled to and from Montreal for $30 total on the Megabus. It was great. This time however, it cost me $80 and an extra 3 hours due to accidents and what not. It was meh.
TIPS & TRICKS
I firmly stand by bringing a cute lil’ backpack for any music festival and quite honestly for everyday wear. Your hands are always free, nothing is splitting your chest in half (if you have bigger boobs you know the look I’m talking about, it’s narsty) and there’s a shit ton of room to throw the freebies that brands are giving out. I brought my Longchamp Le Pliage black backpack and that baby held up the whole weekend. Plus, it’s waterproof and not made of leather so it stretches. It’s amazing and definitely worth the however-much I paid.
Bring a water bottle!!!! Gone are the days of paying $3 for a water bottle. Osheaga had water filling stations near every stage and in a few of the paths to get to stage/event areas, so there really is no excuse to save big time on water. A huge shoutout to the staff members who manually filled up our water bottles from the hoses (don’t worry, it was filtered water). Oh also, take advantage of those water fountains. Who knew going to a concert absolutely soaked would be a life saver?
Download the app! This year, Osheaga’s app included Osheaga Play, which gave you access to the additional activities going on besides the music. There were things like Pontoon boat rides, the ferris wheel, the swings and so many other on-site experiences. The ferris wheel was one of our favourite memories from the festival and was also a good way to see Montreal from up top.
Save your cellphone data bill and use that #freewifi, my dudes! Not only was the WIFI free, but it was fast. Funny enough, Lauren and I both went to Osheaga with about 1GB of data left (don’t do that… ever) and still managed to not go over, all thanks to the free WIFI. Mind you, not recording and posting everything on Snap and Insta definitely helped too.
Leave the grounds to eat! The coolest part about Osheaga is that it’s located in downtown Montreal and only one transfer and a few stops from Berri-UQAM station, which is the core of the city. On the first day, Lauren and I wanted to get some drinks and food before we saw the other artists perform at night. We found a McDonalds and spent less than $10 on food and drinks and had enough money left to make our way to a bar and buy a pitcher of Sangria (and a shot or two, oops).
So that’s it! That was Osheaga 2018 wrapped in a big ‘ole nutshell. I seriously can’t thank Lauren enough for bringing me. It was unforgettable. 10/10 recommend.
Talk to you so soon!